Chicken can't stand or walk

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by VVlLBUR, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. VVlLBUR

    VVlLBUR New Egg

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    Mar 20, 2012
    I have a 10- 12 month old Dominique hen, not sure exactly what she weighs, but her weight has not seemed to change much since she was healthy, which was only a couple days ago. I got home from work today and noticed she was not in the run, which is unusual. When I opened my coop, she was laying on her side with her legs sprawled to one side. She had defecated in the same area multiple times and was laying in it. Her feces was also very runny and watery, I know this because I saw her defecate once while tending to her. I removed her and cleaned her off. I then tried to stand her up, and she wobbled back and forth some and then either tried to walk or just fell over, loosing all balance. I have 3 other hens of the same age and breed which are all fine in appearance and behavior. I looked her over thoroughly and can not find any injuries or abnormalities at all. I feed them a mIxture of crumbles and scratch with oyster shell and insoluble crushed granite mixed in. The coop is 4 x 8 x 6 and the run is 8 x 10 with cedar chips in the coop and chips and wheat straw in the run. I have removed her and have her in a kennel with bedding and water as well as oatmeal and chopped hard boiled egg, but she will not drink or eat on her own. I live in Raleigh NC and it has been unseasonably hot lately (in the 80s) and a buddy suggested it could be dehydration, but I don't have a clue. I have scheduled a vet appointment for her tomorrow afternoon, but would like to help her until then or on my own if possible, due to money beig tight. All of the ag stores around me have closed already, so I only have access to the grocery. I care for my chickens as much as I do my dogs and other animals, and am very worried about her, as well as the fact that she is my best laying hen. Any help or advice would be much appreciated and valued as a new member to the forum. Thank you in advance!
     
  2. un-named543

    un-named543 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2012
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    Maybe give her Poly-vi-sol (without iron)? These are vitamin drops that may help until she sees the vet. Someone else can help more hopefully. Hang in there and keep us posted!
     
  3. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    When was she last wormed and with what? Worms can seem to all of a sudden pull a chicken down. I worm sick birds with Safeguard liquid or horse paste. 1cc per 10 lbs in the mouth, 1/2 cc per 5 lbs etc... For liquid, one pea size dollop in mouth if using paste. Do every other day for three treatments, then repeat in 7 then 14 days. Try to keep her hydrated, you can dribble gatoraid in the side of her beak, you can also inject it under the loose skin if she won't drink. Try force feeding scrambled egg.
     
  4. VVlLBUR

    VVlLBUR New Egg

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    I haven't wormed her since I've had her, which has been 6 months. I will buy some tomorrow though, sounds like something that should be kept on hand. I also tried the Gatorade, has seemed to help, looks like she's getting her balance back! Thank you for the help!
     
  5. VVlLBUR

    VVlLBUR New Egg

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    Where can you find these drops unnamed543? Vitamin drops seem like something that could be beneficial even when not sick?
     
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Good, that should at least get some electrolytes into her for a added boost. Best Wishes for her
     
  7. You might try getting rid of the cedar bedding. Cedar puts off fumes, that's why is repels bugs. It can irritate respiratory passages.

    You can mix protein drink mix into her water, that way she'll be getting some protein, vitamins, etc. Alfalfa is an appetite stimulant so you can make a tea with some alfalfa leaves. I use about a teaspoon of leaves and steep them in 2 cups of water for about 30 minutes. Then allow it to cool. You can use this for water or as half of her water and mix protein drink into that.

    Also, get some yogurt (plain and unsweetened) she may delve into it or you may have to force some. I do this by making pills... a small amount of yogurt rolled in cornmeal until I can handle it. Just put it in the back of her beak and she'll swallow.

    Blueberries are anti diarrheal so it sounds like she could use some of those too. If you quarter them when frozen, she'll be able to see the lighter inside color (they don't like the dark outside color) and will likely be more willing to try them. They don't freeze solid, just semi-solid, easy to cut up. Also, some shredded cheese will help with diarrhea.
     
  8. lady_mama

    lady_mama New Egg

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    So glad I found this post! VVILBUR - can you update? I have a similarly-aged golden-laced Wyandotte who is experiencing these EXACT symptoms! It started last Thursday and I took her to the vet on Friday. Vet said it was possible calcium deficiency since her exam was otherwise normal and she didn't have any injuries. So, she gave her a Ca shot as well as some B vitamins, but she has not improved at all. She is still laid up in the dog crate with a "nest" made of a towel so that she doesn't just fall over on her side. I have to give her water with a dropper and she is not the least bit interested in food. Yikes! I wonder how long she can go on like this?

    Anyway, I was hoping you could update. Thanks to all the other posters for the yogurt suggestion. I will try that today.
     
  9. VVlLBUR

    VVlLBUR New Egg

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    Lady Mama,
    Unfortunately my hen did not make it. Vet gave me a similar diagnosis, but admitted he didn't really know. I gave her an antibiotic called duramycin as well as the yogurt and wet mash probiotic which I began to force feed after a few days of no eating and gave her water through a dropper. She got slightly better for 3 days and then went rapidly down, to the point she couldn't hold her head up or eyes open and was shaking, so I made the hard choice after a few days of this and euthanized her. Wish I could give you a better update, I hope your results are different and she makes a full recovery. Best of luck
     
  10. lady_mama

    lady_mama New Egg

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    Thanks for updating VVILBUR and I'm sorry to hear about your loss. My Dot is still not improving. She finally started to eat some yogurt yesterday. Today, I will try to mix the fines of her regular feed with some yogurt in an attempt to get some more nutrition into her. I wonder how long she can go on like this. Well, thanks again for responding. I think I'll start checking around for vets to euthanize just in case it gets to that point. I know I'm not very handy with a hatchet. Ugh.
     

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